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Reading Between the Lines – What Did Your Spouse Really Say?

Men and women do not always communicate well together. In fact, according to linguistic experts and relationship gurus – men and women have a completely different set of rules when it comes to communicating in general. And this can cause quite a few relationship problems down the road. Reading between the lines, and realizing that what your souse SAYS may not be what they mean, is an important lesson to learn when dealing with the opposite sex.

For instance ‘–

Your co-workers ask you to go on a once in a lifetime golfing excursion. This excursion tends to be on the same day as your wife’s birthday. You ask her if she minds if you go because you will still be back in time to take her out to dinner for her birthday. Her response, ‘sure, I don’t care!’”

The ‘sure, I don’t care,’” response coming from a woman, usually means the exact opposite. Women tend to use this response when they do not want to appear too needy or emotional in front of men. Women expect that the men in their lives should know how they feel about certain hot button issues, and they also take the fact that a man asked about GOING in the first place, as a sign that they do not really give a damn about her birthday. So rather than wear their heart on their sleeve, and appear as needy attached women, they shrug it off with an I don’t care attitude and bury the hurt. Rest assured, it will rear its ugly head later at which time the man will say, ‘well, you said you didn’t care!’”

See, men tend to take everything for face value. If a woman says she doesn’t care, then to him that means she doesn’t care and that it would be fine for him to go golfing in the morning. He likely DOES care about the birthday, and feels fairly confident that he can golf and celebrate without crossing any lines that will hurt the relationship. The I don’t care taken at face value, simply validates that the idea is a good one. So his shock and horror when the woman in his life is pissed off and hurt on her birthday really DOES come as a surprise.

Another example, is if a man tells you he will call you later. A woman, in this instance takes that as he will call them tomorrow or the next day. So when he doesn’t call for a week or two, (or ever) the woman is pissed off. And for many men saying I will call you later means in fact that they won’t call at all, they didn’t have a great time on their date but they don’t want to hurt your feelings. In this case, men aren’t being literal but are being safe, something linguistic experts say that men strive for. Safe communicating – where they don’t have to be or feel responsible for hurting a woman’s feelings. Men will also use this safe line of communication when they perceive a woman is acting ‘psychotic or crazy,’’ by asking them why they are being so emotional or worse, ‘are you on your period!’” If you hear either of those statements, a woman can pretty much bet that the guy in her life thinks she has crossed the bridge from sanity to craziness.

Truth is, that most conversations today between men and women coworkers, friends and even on such social outlets as Facebook have turned into banter of political correctedness. Few of us just blurt out what we really mean to one another, always trying to find the ‘right words’’ or the ‘best way’’ to let our feelings be heard. And this almost always leads to problems with communication especially since human beings are prone to ‘‘hearing’’ what they want to hear in the moment, rather than spend time reading between the lines. Is there really anything wrong with being straightforward? aren’t you more prone to getting what you want in life, if you simply ask for it and make it a habit to be direct?

If you are in a relationship, it is super important that you practice honesty at all times. It is also important that you don’t just pay attention to the words that come out of your partner’s mouth but also their body language. Darting eyes, the feeling of distance, crossing the arms, lowering the head, or generally thinking that something is wrong such as the passive aggressive way he or she deals with you are speaking to you in a completely reliable yet non-verbal way. If you ask if something is okay, then you should pay attention to the eyes and face when the person answers the question, as it will giveaway any lies that they are tempted to blurt out with their mouth.

Relationships are hard enough – all by themselves. If something matters to you, bothers you or if you don’t want your partner to do a certain something, feel offended by or insulted them say so right off the bat. Rather than try to give the answer you think your partner ‘wants’’ to hear, be honest and forthcoming. Instead of saying ‘I don’t care’” about the golf trip tell him that you really were hoping to spend the day together doing something romantic and fun. (Just keep in mind, he may still take the guys up on the golf outing) Then, you can at least own your feelings and let your partner decide what they want to do with them. This advice is for both men and women. Bottom line is that no matter how much you love someone or care about him or her, you cannot read their mind and they cannot read yours. If you want them to KNOW how you feel you have to be true to yourself and tell them the truth.

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